According to the March 17, 2008 Daily Texan, the 6th street oil spill last January is no longer a mystery. The Littlefield Building is responsible since they own the sunken tank. Documents at the Austin History Center and University Libraries revealed Littlefield’s request for the tank at a 1910 city council meeting. According to the TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality), Littlefield will remain responsible unless the specific owner of the tank can be determined. However, the building owner commented that there was not yet a “definitive conclusion… regarding the source and ownership of the oil spill.”
Only time will tell who must foot the cleaning bill for 10,000 gallons of spilled oil and contaminated areas of Waller Creek. Although right now, it looks like Littlefield should get their check book ready.
As far as the question as to what the tank was doing downtown in the first place, the answer is simple. The oil was used to provide heat and light in the area. The only question I still have is why was the tank buried only a few inches under the pavement? Weren’t there any engineers around at the time?
Justice, Katy. “Littlefield responsible for spill.” The Daily Texan. March 17, 2008.